WINNER OF THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST
MAIL ON SUNDAY SCIENCE BOOK OF THE YEAR
LONGLISTED FOR THE AAAS/SUBARU PRIZE
Bees are like oxygen: ubiquitous, essential, and, for the most part, unseen. While we might overlook them, they lie at the heart of relationships that bind the human and natural worlds. In Buzz, author and biologist Thor Hanson takes us on a journey that begins 125 million years ago, when a wasp first dared to feed pollen to its young. From honeybees and bumbles to lesser-known diggers, miners, leafcutters, and masons, bees have long been central to our harvests, our mythologies, and our very existence. They’ve given us sweetness and light, the beauty of flowers, and as much as a third of the foodstuffs we eat. And, alarmingly, they are at risk of disappearing. As informative and enchanting as the waggle dance of a honeybee, Buzz shows us why all bees are wonders to celebrate and protect. Read this book and you’ll never overlook them again.
Kait Howard, Publicist
Basic Books, 2018
"Popular science writing at its intelligent best."
- The Economist
"Hanson's book is sweet, sweet music."
- Natural History
"Charming . . . Hanson is an upbeat and often humorous guide . . . If you have time to read one book on what is happening with modern bees, you can't do better than Buzz"
"Mr. Hanson is an insightful observer of evolution, at his most elegant when digging deep into
the science . . . Mr. Hanson’s senses are, indeed, sharp when observing the natural world."
- The Wall Street Journal
"Popular science at its most accessible: fun, fascinating and full of engaging pen portraits of the scientists and bee enthusiasts he meets in the course of his research."
- The Guardian
"Buzz is illuminating, inspiring, and irresistable. In short: the bee's knees."
- The Mail on Sunday
“This book is a joy. In it, Thor Hanson reminds us that the story of bees is the story of the origin of societies, of sweetness and collapse, of flowers and their sex, and if the humans who study all of these things. It is a story of evolution and biodiversity, a story that bears on much of the food we eat but also so very much else. Buy it. Read it. Read it again. And when you do, you will look out at the buzzing world anew.”
—Rob Dunn, author of Never Home Alone and The Wild Life of Our Bodies
"Never highbrow or authoritative, Thor Hanson writes with the infectious enthusiasm of one encountering wonders for the first time; less a teacher than a fellow traveller on a shared voyage of discovery. Surely among the finest nature writers of our time―whatever subject Hanson turns his hand to, the result is spellbinding."
—Katrina Van Grouw, author of The Unfeathered Bird and Unnatural Selection
“This book hums with the unique mixture of science, adventure, intelligence, wonder, linguistic virtuosity, and great storytelling we have come to expect from Thor Hanson’s work. But it offers something new and rare as well. Here we are drawn into a surprising and enchanted world that is hidden in plain sight. All who read Buzz will eat dinner, walk in the neighborhood, search the flowers, and yes—listen to the drone of bees—with changed minds and hearts, ones that are freshly attuned to our beautiful and essential interconnection with the six-legged beings who share and co-create our history, our mythology, our sustenance, our planet, and our future.”
—Lyanda Lynn Haupt, author of Crow Planet and Mozart’s Starling
“Thor Hanson is a magician at making entomology and taxonomy exciting, highlighting the fascinating world of bees. Buzz hums with science and history, exposing how bees have shaped our world. A delightful, buzzworthy must-read!”
—Daniel Chamovitz, author of What a Plant Knows
“As he did for feathers and seeds, Thor Hanson has written a wonderfully engaging work of natural history that will delight readers with its elegant prose, surprising stories, and deep humanity. Bees, so important to life on earth, are fortunate to have someone as passionate and knowledgeable as Hanson tell the tale of their evolutionary past, turbulent present, and precarious future. After readingBuzz, you will look at bees with a profound mixture of awe and gratitude.”
—Eric Jay Dolin, author of Black Flags, Blue Waters, and Leviathan
“Thor Hanson is a gifted story teller and naturalist. In Buzz, he takes us along on a wondrous, action-packed journey to discover the secret lives of bees, flowers, and the unconventional men and women who study them. This book really is the buzz about bees, and it’s destined to become a natural history classic.”
—Stephen Buchmann, author of The Reason for Flowers
“This beautifully written natural history book, brought to us by a graceful and talented author, packs surprise after surprise with every turn of the page. Who knew bees were just evolved wasps? Or that ancient Egyptians ferried bees up and down the Nile to pollinate their crops? Don't pass this one up.”
—Wendy Williams, author of The Horse